The European Union voted in favor of the USB-C as the “common charging port” for a majority of devices, including iPhones and AirPods, that come into their region. It will be in effect by the end of 2024.

The law will impact Apple the most since iPhones and Airpods still use the proprietary lightning port for charging. With the law in place, consumers in the EU will soon enjoy having a single charging solution for most of their electronic devices.

The EU believes that moving to a single USB-C charging port will reduce e-waste. Devices like smartwatches and health trackers that are too small for a USB-C charging port are exempt from the directive. Products that have been released and sold before the directive’s approval are also exempt.

Apart from the common charging port directive, the EU also seeks to abolish the technological “lock-in” effect, where consumers are dependent on a single manufacturer for accessories and whatnot.

What’s left now is for the EU Council to approve the directive, so it can be published in the EU Official Journal. It will come into force 20 days after publication, where it will be one effect after 24 months.

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As stated in the press release from the European Parliament:

By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops. The new law, adopted by plenary on Tuesday with 602 votes in favor, 13 against, and 8 abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.

Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.

Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds, and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.

All devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.

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Bryan is a tech enthusiast and self-admitted geek who enjoys blogging and watching NBA clips on YouTube. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations from different industries such as telecommunications and banking.

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